“Oh, and then I would need an ID card as a deposit,” says the nice lady and hands over the diving equipment that I have borrowed. Not only in Germany, but often also in popular holiday countries, IDs are required as a deposit and you don’t think about it any further, after all you don’t want any stress and you’ll get your ID back.
But the Personal Identity Card Act makes it very clear that depositing German passports and identity cards as collateral is not permitted under German law. So don’t give out your ID and passport.
Do not give your ID card as a deposit
You don’t have to read the Personal Identity Card Act for a long time, as Section 1 Paragraph 1 Clause 3 already says: “The identity card holder may not be required to deposit the identity card or give up custody in any other way”. Important “This does not apply to authorities authorized to determine identity or in cases of confiscation and seizure”.
Specifically, if a police officer asks for your ID, you must show it and the officer may take it or confiscate it. But you don’t have to leave the person to the rental company for diving equipment or the receptionist in the hotel.
In any case, ID or passport are not suitable as a deposit, because according to the law, both documents are the property of the Federal Republic of Germany. Also because of the personal data stored in the chip of the ID card and the possible online use, you should refrain from giving out your ID card.
Alternative to personal deposit
But how do you react correctly when an ID card is demanded as a deposit? Do not climb onto the barricades immediately, but point out the legal situation in a friendly manner. It is best to ask about other options or offer alternative items of value.
Simply making a copy of your ID is not the best solution either. It would be better if contact details were simply noted as security. When making ID copies, users should make sure to black out data that is not required for identification.